Play-Off Contenders? – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 3 – Part 21 – Cobh Ramblers – May 2021

I would suggest he was more than a contender…

Welcome back to Cobh for our next 4 games in May 2021 – A League Cup QF and 3 league games that should see whether we can keep pushing for 4th this season, and a shot at promotion.

April was a strange month, the 5 league games going as expected, however disappointingly and the 2 cup games bringing 2 amazing wins against quality opposition.

Firstly a look at all the lovely stats for the month.

Some good attribute rises, especially for the kids. I foresee great things for Mike Hourihane!

There were a good few decreases as well, maybe as so much resting had to occur because of the crazy schedule.

There were some real positives in April from a stat perspective. Pass completion was great, Mike Hourihane a start when he was on the pitch. Cross completion was also really good. Adam Hughes has shown his strength in the air and, with Carrick, the Interceptions/90 were very good indeed. Daire Doherty starred in front of goal and our wingers were dribbling consistently. The only real negative was Kane Lewis being very mistake-prone.

We’re still rock-bottom of the xG across our time in Cobh – 11.5 goals down overall.

Adam is a solid 5th from all the Goalkeepers – 4 goals saved more than average. Stephen McGuinness & Conor Kearns showing how good they are though!!

Eoin McCormack still doing well, 5.6 goals better than average from his shots. Hopefully David & Ian can get some goals to get them off the bottom.

So to May – It will be an interesting month.

Derry City will be tough in the League Cup Quarters (Especially with just 2 days break since the Cabo league game), as will our away trip to Co. Wicklow to face Bray (2nd). Longford & Wexford (8th & 10th) should be 6 points though….

Games from March & February still impacting the board’s view…

Cohesion, Dynamics & Support all going well. Evan Murphy & Dean Ebbe are unhappy about playing time currently.

Keeping up the ‘friends with everybody’ tactic, a bit of mutual admiration with the Derry Manager Jon Daly (This is his first management job after caretaking at Hearts, ending his playing career at Raith in 2016)

3rd May 2021 – Derry City (A) – Irish League Cup Quarter Final

The Brandywell, home of Derry City

We make the 310 mile, 5-and-a-half hour drive up to the top of the island of Ireland to Derry/Londonderry (itself in Northern Ireland) for this evenings’ League Cup Quarter Final. They are currently 9th in the Premier Division and have just appointed Jon Daly as their new manager, so i expect a tough game, what with the managerial honeymoon and all that. Hopefully the AI will put out a rotated team as they also played on Friday 30th, beating Shelbourne 2-0.

Their wage bill is 3rd in the league (£695k/year), hence the manager change, and dwarfs ours (£157k, 5th in the First Division).

We stay with the Positive 4-2-3-1 wide pressing wing-play, hoping Costelloe can come out of his shell and Evans can keep doing what he’s doing. Doherty keeps his place with Mike Hourihane, and Hughes is back in at centre-back, trying to improve his relationship with Hill. Derry start with a bog-standard 4-4-2.

FT Derry City 3 (Duggan 69, 70, Davis 86) Cobh Ramblers 1 (Hughes 43) Att 1,612 (14 Away)

A decent enough start, Derry seemingly playing a similar wide game. Doherty had a couple of chances in the first 20 minutes. It’s the defensive ability of Derry keeping them in it at the moment, lots of good tackles. And the breakthrough!! 43rd minute, a Daire Doherty deep free kick cleared poorly by Gilchrist, falling to Adam Hughes, who controlled the ball and scythed a left foot bomb into the top left bins past a prostrate Gartside in the Derry net. 1-0 Cobh, and fully deserved. Can we stay solid for the last few minutes of the half? Derry really pushed for the equaliser, with a good chance saved by Mylod, but we go in 1-0 to the good. As said before fully deserved.

Turner on for Evans at the start of the 2nd half, looking for his set-pieces to cause Derry some issues. Also playing Turner a bit deeper. Hourihane is picking some lovely passes out today. Derry should have scored in the 63rd, a lovely break by Duggan, Davis hitting the post whilst in acres, but their only outlset seems to be the Counter. Going Balanced, Nolan on for Costelloe. Derry equalised in the 69th minute – an unfortunate slip/bad step by Fleming meant he was out of position, Duggan tapping home. Back to Positive:) This could be Extra Time and Pens tonight. It was 2-1 Derry just a minute later, Duggan again getting free from Fleming and placing past Mylod. Fuck it! Show some Passion!! McCormack on for Doherty for the last 15. It was 3 in the 86th, unlocked again by a ball over the top, Davis on hand to score. Really fallen apart here, which has happened before. It finished 3-1 – really annoyed that a team we dominated for 70 minutes looked like Barcelona after their 1st goal.

Bray Wanderers beat Limerick 3-1 in the other QF today.

3 Players in team of the Week after the Cabinteely victory.

Dundalk and Waterford made it through in the other 2 Quarter Finals, beating Bohemians and Drogheda 3-1 and 5-4 (on pens after it finished 3-3 after 120 minutes) respectively.

Our U19’s drew 2-2 with Manulla in a friendly, 17yo STC James Hobbs and Dean Ebbe with the goals.

7th May 2021 – Bray Wanderers (A) – First Division

Today we travel across to Wicklow to play in-form Bray (Who we beat 3-0 in our first meeting this season) knowing we need to keep winning to be in with a realistic play-off chance come October.

Bray have won their last 9 straight games (Their 3-0 loss to us was the last time they didn’t win, 19th March!) so I expect nothing from this game, preferably not a capitulation like in the 2nd half v Derry.

A few changes from Monday, 4-4-1-1, McCormack back up top for Doherty, Porter back to AP in place of Hourihane, Mihoubi & Turenr sat back a bit on the wings for a disappointing Costelloe and Evans, Hurley into Centre Mid, Lewis for Fleming and O’Riordan for Hughes. Bray go with a 4-2-4 Wide!!!! Attack, Attack, Attack from them, hopefully playing Cautious may pull them on and give us some space to Counter in.

FT Bray Wanderers 2 (Kelly 68, Hollywood 88) Cobh Ramblers 0 Att 825 (20 Away)

We start in the Wicklow rain in our change strip of light blue shirts and claret shorts. A decent enough start by Cobh, Bray really pressing with intensity though. Bray had the majority of the game from an attacking perspective, but Cobh had most of the ball. Mylod has made a few very good saves. We went in at 0-0, no shots and riding our luck a little bit. We may have to go at them a bit I think.

Evans on for Turner at half-time, hoping for a bit more up-and-at-them. Gone a balanced 4-2-3-1 for the second half to try and change the conversation of a game that is definitely with Bray at this point. We had our first shot after 2 minutes, McCormack just wide. Good play early on. Mylod pulled off a lovely save 1-on-1 with Clarke just after 60 minutes to keep the scores lecvel. Doherty on for McCormack after 65. Then disaster, 1-0 Bray, Mylod parrying a shot and Kelly scoring from a very tight angle. Abbott for Hurley with 15 left. Going a bit more attacking. 2-0 in the 88th, a direct Hollywood Free Kick. Just not good enough. 2-0 it finished.

Galway drop more points away to Finn Harps, Limerick and bray going 7 points clear of them. Cabinteely continue their good run with a win v U.C.D.

What to do? We just aren’t good enough to put a string of wins together. Two league games left this month, Longford and Wexford. 6 Points needed from them or 4th place will be a long way off with just 12 games left.

I’ve also made the decision to stop collating xG data – it takes about 45 minutes per round of games and I’m not really using the data to materially affect how I play the game, so until it becomes part of the Vanilla game I won’t be looking at xG in my posts.

Our U19 lost 4-3 to UCD U19’s, goals from 17yo AML Patrick Walker & 18yo Paul Caulfield (Brace).

14th May 2021 – Longford (H) – First Division

We really need a win today boys!! Not happy with the way we’ve capitulated in the last couple of games, though i understand both were versus good opposition. Longford sit in 8th, but are just 3 points behind us. A win could put us back in 5th.

I’m playing my best players as per the view of the assistant manager and coaches in their best positions to try and play as well as we can. Doherty up top as a PF(A), Costelloe, Porter and Evans across the attacking midfield line, Costelloe told to do whatever he wants. Phillips as the BWM, Devine as the Carillero in Centre Midfield. John Douglas is seen as our best left-back after pierce Phillips, who is our best BWM, so he starts, and its Hill & Evan Murphy in the centre with Charlie Fleming back at right-back. We go with a balanced gegenpress – with a week between games now fitness should not be an issue. Longford go with a 4-1-4-1 DM Cautious…

FT Cobh Ramblers 3 (Evan Murphy 9, Costelloe 32, Doherty 34) Longford 2 (Dobbs 30, Seraf 51) Att 300 (39 Away)

It’s raining stair-rods in Cobh this evening, and its a pretty even start, both teams with some forward momentum, and it was 1-0 Cobh in the 9th minute – a floated free-kick by Doherty headed in well by Evan Murphy. Evans is having one of his good games, creating mayhem down the right. Feels like this could be a high-scoring draw, the game is very open. 1-1 in the 30th, Douglas dispossessed by Seraf, his cross headed in by Dobbs. Show some fucking passion!! And they did!! 2 minutes later, a gorgeous cross by Charlie Fleming, attacked from deep by Dara Costelloe, heading in beautifully. 2-1 Cobh. And 2 minutes later it was 3-1 – A Doherty direct FK from the right!! Amazing reaction to the equaliser 🙂 Better!! The half finished 3-1 🙂

The older head of Kevin Taylor on for John Douglas at half-time. Everything else stays as is. 3-2 in the 51st, Seraf heading in from 8 yards. 68th minute and Longford went down to 10 men – A Kinsella double-footed challenge on Evans that looked bad in the match engine. End to end stuff now. Hurley for Phillips with 10 left, Hughes for an exhausted Hill with a minute of normal time left. It finished 3-2, a really good 3 points 🙂 Even though the second half was poor.

We go back to 5th, just a point off of Cabo in 4th as Finn Harps & U.C.D. draw. Next up is Wexford in 7 days, its got to be a win!!

Adam, Evan & Daire in the First Division team of the Week.

21st May 2021 – Wexford (H) – First Division

Wexford sit bottom of the table, 8 points from 14 games. 13 games left. No wins in 14 competitive matches. Expect a difficult game, because….

The only change is Taylor for Douglas at left-back. Douglas will get time this season though. Wexford start with a 4-4-2.

FT Cobh Ramblers 1 (Doherty 68) Wexford 0 Att 265 (16 Away)

A decent start for Cobh, a chance in the 2nd minute for Costelloe. Cobh with the possession and chances early on. Wexford looking dangerous when they get forward though. Donnelly keeping them in it with some good saves. Lots of Cobh pressure at the end of the half but Donnelly stood tall – 11 saves so far!! 0-0.

Hurley on for Taylor (Phillips moves back to leftback) at half-time, Ian Turner will be on soon, Evans having a mare. Wexford started the half well. Turner on for Evans in the 50th minute, need to change things a bit. I fiddled and fiddled to try and get us to be a little bit more clinical and the breakthrough came in the 68th minute – Doherty put in by Eoin Porter, a nice finish from just outside the box. Pulling Hurley back to DM (He’s taken a knock), and Porter back to Centre Mid. Nolan on for Costelloe for the last 15. The boys are playing really nicely, lots of short passing, keeping the ball, working the opportunity. Donnelly on 14 saved out of 15 so far. Feels like there could be a sting somewhere in this… Eoin Porter down and out in the last minute of normal time – potential foot injury to go with Hurley’s potential thigh injury. But it finished 1-0. Should have been a drubbing, but lessons learned. We play really well with really short passing it seems.

Cabinteely stay 1 point ahead of us with a win v Longford, and Galway are only 4 points ahead in 3rd after losing to U.C.D, who with Finn Harps are now 3 points behind us. Bray continue their brilliant form beating Limerick in a top-of-the-table clash.

Eoin Porter – Out for 3-4 weeks with pulled ankle ligaments 🙁 Mike Hourihane will be getting some game time as the playmaker.

David Hurley – Only out for a couple of days with a tight thigh.

We have a two week break now before playing Finn Harps, so we’ve just got the last bits of news from this month to go through.

Below is a roundup of the key Highlights from this month’s games.

Cobh Ramblers – May 2021 Key Highlights

Our U19’s beat Cabinteely U19’s 2-0, 18yo DC Axel Bernet & 17yo DC Kevin Gannon with the goals.

4 players in the First Division team of the Week this week – Charlie, Eoin, Ethan & Daire.

Our U19’s have had another game, winning 5-2 versus Westport Utd. Goals from Kevin Taylor, Dean Ebbe, 18yo AMC Shane O’Flynn & a brace from Eoin McCormack.

Evan Murphy – played the last two games – not happy with playing time………. Offered to Clubs for nothing. He certainly won’t be playing for the rest of the season.

And that rounds of the month. Just the 3 games next month, 2 league and the Munster Senior Cup Final. See you then.

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